Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on Mali

16 Oct 2023

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on Mali

New-York, 16 October 2023 - Staying in peacekeeping. Our peacekeeping mission in Mali – MINUSMA - announced that today it started withdrawing troops from the northern camps in the Kidal region, starting with bases in Tessalit, and Aguelhok. 

This will be followed by the Kidal camp itself. 

The Mission is doing everything it can to complete this process as soon as possible, in the midst of the rapidly deteriorating security situation and also increased risk to the lives of hundreds of peacekeepers. This is becoming increasingly difficult. Today, personnel from the Mission were forced to seek shelter in bunkers due to an exchange of fire in Tessalit. 

All parties, including the Government and including the signatory armed movements, have an obligation to ensure the secure, safe, and unimpeded withdrawal of the Mission personnel and equipment. 

And as you will have seen over the weekend we issued a note saying that heightened tensions in northern Mali are increasing the likelihood that the Mission will be forced to depart without being able to repatriate equipment belonging to Troop-Contributing Countries and the UN. 

In light of this, the Mission has intensified engagement with the Malian authorities to convey its concerns and underscore their responsibilities as the host nation for the safety and security of peacekeepers. The UN Secretariat is also engaging in intense consultations.

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